Even though Apple hasn’t released official preorder estimates from the iPhone SE, we do have other sources to find out roughly how well the new handset is selling. The latest data from Slice Intelligence suggests that while the iPhone SE is definitely not shaping up to compare with the flagship models, it is faring relatively well and is bringing in a new vein of consumers to iOS.
Much smaller sales figures
Sales of the iPhone SE are markedly smaller than those for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, but that isn't surprisingCredit: Slice Intelligence
The total number of iPhone SE devices bought during the first weekend of availability was much smaller than previous model launches, but to be honest, I expected that. Indexed sales were just three percent of purchases made during the iPhone 6 launch weekend. This isn’t surprising, because the iPhone SE was developed to appeal to the crowd that’s been sticking with the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S, favoring the smaller form factor.
Drawing in more Android converts
A larger portion of iPhone SE buyers are coming over from Android than with other iPhone launchesCredit: Slice Intelligence
What’s surprising about the figures Slice has collected is the number of consumers buying an iPhone SE to replace an Android device. Only 35 percent of iPhone SE purchasers bought an iOS-based handset within the past two years, and 16 percent of those buyers are coming over from Android. To put that in perspective, 49 percent of iPhone 6s buyers upgraded from a previous generation of iPhone, and only 10 percent replaced an Android device.
The new vein of consumers
The older audience seems more attracted to the iPhone SE than other modelsCredit: Slice Intelligence
Now, for the truly interesting information. The early data suggests that the iPhone SE might be helping Apple grow its maturing consumer base with older and less educated buyers. More than 20 percent of iPhone SE purchasers fall within the 45 to 54 age demographic, compared to 18 percent for all iPhone buyers. Men comprise 77 percent of the buyers, compared to 69 percent for the rest of the iPhone product family. Finally, only 39 percent of new iPhone SE owners have a college degree, compared with 46 percent among iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s purchasers.
Can we really trust these figures?
So, where do these figures come from? Slice Intelligence has a panel of more than 4 million online shoppers and extracts detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized electronic receipts. I’m not normally a fan of statistics and I usually take them with a grain of salt, but with a panel of this size, I feel confident the data is sound and accurate. The iPhone SE might not be flying off the shelves, but it’s great to see that it’s appealing to a new, different audience. We’ve already seen early reports of millions of devices sold in China, and it’s interesting to see more figures emerge.